The Paleomagnetic Laboratory at Niederlippach

The paleomagnetic laboratory is located in Niederlippach (48°35.224'N, 012°04.549' E), near Landshut, some 70 km to the northeast of Munich. The remoteness of the location is compensated by ideal working conditions with few distractions. Anthropogenic disturbances to the ambient magnetic field are minimal. We are fortunate to have two separate and very spacious buildings at our disposition.  The original laboratory, built in the 1980s, is made of wood and includes two bedrooms, shower and kitchen facilities, which allows scientists working in the lab to stay as long as necessary.

It is home to several rock magnetic instruments, such as a Variable Field Translation Balance (VFTB). Renovation of a derelict farmhouse in 1995 provided additional space for a magnetically shielded room, housing our 2G cryogenic cryogen-free, pulse tube magnetometer as well as ASC and Schonstedt ovens.

Address: Institut für Geophysik, Unterlippach 3, 84095 Furth

Contact person: Manuela Weiss, tel: 49-89-2180-73888 e-mail: nl@geophysik.uni-muenchen.de

The Paleomagnetic Laboratory in Munich

Our downtown Munich facility has a 90 m3 magnetically shielded room (~500 nT at 1 m height over most of the surface) that houses a fully automated system based on a 2G Enterprises, Inc., three-axis superconducting magnetometer and a custom-made coil designed to experiment on cylindrical specimens used in typical paleomagnetic investigations. Affectionately called the SushiBar due to its resemblance, the system facilitates stepwise alternating field demagnetization of up to 99 samples per loaded track. It also enables researchers to explore magnetic properties using an anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) in any coercivity window up to peak alternating fields of 95 mT with direct current bias fields up to 0.17 mT. This includes studies of magnetic viscosity and magnetic anisotropy. One year after routine operation began in March 2011, the system has made >100,000 automatic sample manipulations and readings from the magnetometer, saving >1000 hours of human working time. The shielded room also houses an AGICO JR-4 spinner magnetometer and an ASCScientific oven for thermal demagnetization and paleointensity experiments.


The Munich laboratory has a LP-RESEARCH (former Petersen Instruments) variable field translation balance capable of making in-field measurements of the magnetic moment from room temperature to 700°C. We also have an ancient Princeton Measurements Corp. vibrating sample magnetometer, a torque magnetometer (home-made) and a relatively large electromagnet with variable gap between the pole pieces. Our group possesses an assortment of rock-preparation equipment (saws, drills, etc.), calibration instruments (fluxgate magnetometers, hall probes, etc.) and field equipment (drills, orienting devices, etc.).

Two of our laboratories are dedicated to biomagnetic research. One houses a glove box capable of raising magnetotactic bacteria in controlled atmospheres and magnetic fields, a Petersen Instruments magnetodrome that allows one to observe and record magnetotactic bacteria under time-varying applied magnetic fields, and several apparatus to measure water chemistry and to manipulate biological material. The second lab houses a home-made confocal microscope and well as a high powered Zeiss microscope to observe thin sections with or without ferrofluid.

Further enquiries should be directed to Stuart Gilder, Valerian Bachtadse or Michael Wack.